Medha Somaiya, wife of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kirit Somaiya has approached the Bombay High Court in a defamation suit against Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut seeking damages to the tune of Rs 100 crore and a permanent injunction from publication of the defamatory content.
Somaiya has sought for the Rs 100 crore damages to be deposited with the Chief Minister's relief fund.
The suit was filed after Raut accused the Somaiyas of a 'Rs 100 crore toilet scam' in the Mira-Bhayandar area. The Shiv Sena leader alleged that funds allocated by the Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Corporation for the construction of toilets within its jurisdiction were allegedly misused by Medha through her non-government organisation, Yuvak Pratishthan.
Medha Somaiya is a professor for organic chemistry for more than 20 years in Ruia College, associated with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Raigad, and also runs the NGP Yuvak Pratishthan, according to the suit.
Somaiya has said that Raut made the allegations and accusations "without any proof" and has tried to malign her reputation by making defamatory statements and comments which are untrue and baseless.
"The action of the present Defendant, by alleging and accusing the Applicant/Plaintiff and his family members and organizations are far more malicious and with the only intent to create wrong impressions in the minds of public at large with all such false proof less accusation," the plaint said regarding Raut's allegations in the Shiv Sena mouth piece 'SAAMNA,' on April 12, 2022.
Pursuant to this, Somaiya sent a notice on April 29, 2022 and also wrote to the local police station for registration of an FIR against Raut alleging offences punishable under sections 503, 506 and 509 of the IPC.
The suit added that Raut "has shown total dis-regard for truth, indulged in near sensationalism, and made gains by tarnishing the image of the Plaintiff and her family members. Hence, interim and ad-interim reliefs are necessary." The interim relief injuncting Raut from repeating the statements has been sought.
Somaiya has further sought an apology from the Shiv Sena leader. The suit is filed through advocate Ameet Mehta of Solicis Lex.
Kirit Somaiya, on his part, had refuted all the allegations made by Raut. He has written to the Maharashtra government, claiming that the scheme was started in seven civic bodies in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and his wife's NGO - Yuvak Pratishthan - was only one of the NGOs in collaboration. He further claimed that Medha's help was sought regarding her expertise in the field.
Earlier, Somaiya also filed a defamation case against Raut at the Sewri court.
Last month, the Bombay High Court granted interim protection from arrest to Kirit Somaiya and his son in a cheating case regarding swindling of funds collected to save warship INS Vikrant in 2013. The complaint was filed by an ex-serviceman claiming that Somaiya collected funds to save the warship but neither were those funds deposited for their rightful use, nor were they returned.
The defamation suit will be mentioned after vacation.